“Dancing with the Stars” has crowned Season 16’s mirrorball champions.
It’s been said that the freestyle is the dance that can win the season and that appeared to be the case for Kellie Pickler and Derek Hough, who won “DWTS” on Tuesday night.
Despite coming in one judges’ point behind the perfect-scoring Zendaya and pro Valentin Chmerkovskiy over two nights of competition in the finals, Kellie and Derek clearly impressed the public with their gravity-defying Monday night freestyle. And when it was all said and done, the fan vote (which was combined with the judges’ score for their overall total), clearly tipped the results in their favor.
It took a moment for the win to sink in, but once it did, the singer leapt into her dance partner’s arms.
“Oh my God,” Kellie screamed, when show co-host Tom Bergeron finally got the mic over to the her.
Asked if she expected to take home the prize, Kellie (who came in sixth on “American Idol” Season 5), told Tom, “No, not at all. This is amazing!”
The mirrorball win is the fourth for Kellie’s partner Derek, who previously took home the trophy with Brooke Burke in Season 7, Nicole Scherzinger in Season 10 and Jennifer Grey in Season 11.
Zendaya, 16, the youngest competitor ever on “DWTS,” came in second with her partner, Valentin Chmerkovskiy.
“I’m very proud and very happy,” Zendaya said at the end of the show, reflecting on her accomplishments in Season 16. “And, I get to leave here with an amazing experience.”
Third place went to Jacoby Jones and Karina Smirnoff. Although they finished at the bottom of the pack on Monday night in judges’ points, the viewer votes helped them make it to the final round — an instant jive (all three of the last couples standing earned perfect scores in that round).
Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman and Mark Ballas finished in fourth.
In related “DWTS” finals news, Tom announced early on in the broadcast that because voting went down on ABC.com during the East Coast broadcast on Monday night, no votes — at all — from the website counted toward the total scores.
-- Jolie Lash